In the Solar PEIS, the BLM committed to preparing solar regional mitigation strategies (SRMSs) for the solar energy zones (SEZs). These regional mitigation strategies were intended to simplify and improve the mitigation process for future solar projects in SEZs.
In March 2014, the BLM released the Regional Mitigation Strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone (BLM Technical Note 444) (PDF, 3.9 MB), a pilot effort by the BLM that identifies mitigation priorities and options in advance of development. The SRMS takes into account the resource conditions of the land and regional trends informed by BLM's recent Rapid Ecoregional Assessments, and was the first of several such mitigation strategies to be developed for SEZs by the BLM. In December 2015, the Implementation Plan for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone Regional Mitigation Strategy (PDF, 569 KB) was released. This document details the selection of the Piute-Eldorado Valley ACEC as the mitigation location to compensate for resources that will be lost as a result of solar development in the Dry Lake SEZ. Both the SRMS and the Implementation Plan were developed in collaboration with stakeholders.
With IM-2019-018, the BLM established policy that compensatory mitigation could not be required as a condition for project approvals. However, with the issuance of IM 2021-038 on July 14, 2021, the BLM rescinded the previous IM-2019-018. The BLM expects to establish policies which are aligned with EO 13990, SO 3398, and the priorities of the Department. During this interim period offices should consider and implement compensatory mitigation on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with state office and national office program specialists and the Office of the Solicitor as needed.